WhiteBlaze Pages 2024
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
AVAILABLE NOW. $4 for interactive PDF(smartphone version)
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 40
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-26-2024
    Location
    Madison, Mississippi
    Age
    41
    Posts
    5

    Default Trekking poles needed????

    Hello,
    I will be going on my first section hike towards the end of July with my 8 year old son and we are super excited! I have been gathering up gear over the past year as I have learned how to backpack (short trips) through research and just plain old lessons learned the hard way and through trial and error. I have noticed that a lot of people have trekking poles but I have never hiked with them before. I know these can be pricey for the good ones. Do I really need the trekking poles or can we hike the trail without them????? Thanks in advance!
    Best regards,
    Taz

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-01-2017
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Age
    74
    Posts
    243
    Images
    1

    Default

    No, you donít need them, you can use ski poles.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-05-2018
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Age
    69
    Posts
    88

    Default

    You donít need them, though as you say many if not most use them. The ones from Cascade Mountain Sports (Amazon and other places like Costco) are IMO an amazing value: very sturdy, just as good as and very slightly heavier than my Leki poles that are a lot pricier. I think theyíre $40 or so, so you can try them some point without a huge investment. The only downside IMO is the straps are a bit of a disaster. I just cut them off, which actually many people do as well.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    05-06-2012
    Location
    where i am now, which might not be where i am tomorrow
    Posts
    309

    Default

    need them? nope. but think of animals with four legs on the ground and stability. hiking poles get you there.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-25-2010
    Location
    Newark, DE
    Age
    63
    Posts
    122
    Images
    20

    Default

    Trekking poles are an essential item for me. The additional point(s) of contact help greatly to reduce falls. Aluminum poles are not that expensive and are the way to go in my view. Carbon fiber poles are brittle, can break easily and are not worth the higher cost. Get some poles. Your knees will thank you.

  6. #6

    Default

    Trekking poles are not a requirement, but after some steep descents with full pack and 45-year old knees I opted to get a pair and have never looked back. I would absolutely recommend them.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-20-2002
    Location
    Damascus, Virginia
    Age
    65
    Posts
    31,373

    Default

    need? no. i don't use them. never have

  8. #8

    Default

    I use them for my tent so they are required for me, however the longer I hike the more they stay strapped to my pack
    Trail Miles: 5,154.2
    AT Map 1:
    ✔ | 13-21'
    Sheltowee Trace: ✔ | 20-23'
    Pinhoti Trail: ✔ | 23-24'
    Foothills Trail: ✔ | 24'
    GSMNP900: 134.7(17%)
    AT Map 2: 279.4
    CDT: 210.9
    BMT: 52.7

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-15-2011
    Location
    Lowell, MA
    Posts
    1,322

    Default

    Necessary for me also. Takes a tremendous amount of stress off knees and back, and provides significant stability. What many don't realize is how much they help going up, as the lateral stability replaces a lot of muscle firing that would occur to stabilize without poles.

    In truth, I probably would have had to give up hiking in the Whites decades ago without them.

  10. #10
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
    Join Date
    12-13-2004
    Location
    Central Vermont
    Age
    69
    Posts
    2,679

    Default

    Personal choice. I put 'em away on steep rock scrambles when hands are needed for climbing or descending, but most of the time they're in use.

  11. #11

    Default

    Entirely up to the individual. Some people swear by them. I've tried them several times over the years and still don't find them particularly helpful except in the winter when heavily loaded in technical terrain. Around here that doesn't happen.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-27-2003
    Location
    northern whites
    Posts
    4,944

    Default

    I live in the whites and have sectioned the AT, I have used Leki Poles for 35 years. On very rare occasions, I do want to ditch the poles when scrambling up or down rocks and that is where collapsible poles come in real handy. If your plans include long distance backpacking, trekking poles can substitute for tent poles on lightweight tents (tent specific). I tend not to use my poles while in flat terrain with good footing but use them quite a bit going uphill as well as downhill. If I am not using them I and carrying both in one hand. One bonus is that dogs tend to avoid folks using poles.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-14-2015
    Location
    Rome, Georgia
    Posts
    484

    Default

    I've backpacked 900 miles of the AT without using trekking poles. I prefer a single wood staff. For the past ten years, I've been using dogwood cut in my backyard. Long (almost 7') and slightly bent so that there's some give when it hits the ground (meaning it absorbs some of the shock). I like a staff because I keep one hand free and can switch hands. Too, dogwood is tough, and, at seven feet, the staff provides an element of protection should I ever need it.

  14. #14

    Default

    They can help reduce knee strain, particularly on downhills. The can also help prevent a face plant. I use them.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-01-2018
    Location
    Cookeville, TN
    Posts
    69

    Default

    I carry a single Leki pole but it stays strapped to my pack most of the time. Comes out when rock hopping creek crossings.

  16. #16

    Default

    I think you should also focus on food your 8 year old likes. I’ve taken my kids on several hikes and never went without some form of their favorites and lots of them. Oreos, M&Ms, pop tarts, even their favorite meals from home replicated in an on-trail fashion.

  17. #17
    Garlic
    Join Date
    10-15-2008
    Location
    Golden CO
    Age
    67
    Posts
    5,625
    Images
    2

    Default

    As mentioned once above there are times poles get in the way. I've actually tripped on them once or twice, like if one springs off a low branch into your stride. Or a tip gets stuck in a rock crack. And I see very people using straps the way they're intended--look up the diagonal stride XC skiers use. For many, the poles are just along for the ride, and are used for the very occasional balance issue. I never bring poles on day hikes. On long distance hikes I'll sometimes bring one, sometimes two. Many of my trips now involve carrying tools for trail work, so definitely no poles.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  18. #18

    Default

    When I was younger I didn't see the point of them, but when I finally tried them in my late 20's, I decided they actually were worth it. I always take them, but don't always use them during the day. Often I'm carrying them in one hand as I hike. I mainly want them for:
    • I still need to hike but I'm getting tired and more prone to stumbling
    • I'm trying to hike faster than normal (in a hurry) and thus more prone to stumbling
    • On descents as they do help take some of the stress off my knees, particularly really step descents where you have to step down.
    • On uneven ground where it's easier to trip or fall. They have kept me upright numerous times.
    • They are the support for my shelter. If I wasn't carrying them, I'd have to either buy a different type of shelter or buy poles specifically made to use with it.


    I use really UL carbon fiber poles by Ruta Locura. At 8oz total for both, I really don't mind carrying them when not in use. For me, they worked well on a PCT and CDT thru hike. For others, they probably aren't strong enough as I've seen people bend or break metal poles, let alone carbon fiber ones. That said, the narrower shaft diameter does allow them to bend more than the thicker shafts on most poles (kinda of like a young tree vs an older one). The main issue with damaging poles comes from how a pole will occasionally get caught in between rocks and you either have to stop moving quickly or learn to release the pole so you don't over stress it by trying to force it to keep moving when the bottom can't and thus the shaft bends too far.

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-27-2003
    Location
    northern whites
    Posts
    4,944

    Default

    BTW, I use my trekking poles a lot more often since breaking my ankle and dislocating a foot. I was not using my poles at the time as it was "easy walking"

    I have walked out with severe sprain in the past using trekking poles. If I didnt have poles, it would have been a long hike out.

  20. #20

    Default

    I use them, but only roller skating, never hiking.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •